Belfast Telegraph

William Dunlop is well placed for North West 200

By Paul Lindsay

William Dunlop has been beaming as much as the brilliant sunshine on the north coast this week.

Ahead of this evening’s opening races at the Vauxhall International North West 200, the Ballymoney man is in a very happy place.

“Tuesday’s sessions couldn’t have gone any better for me,” said a delighted Dunlop. “I was chuffed with the time on the Supersport bike, but I was also really pleased with how things went on the big bike,” he added.

“We have fine-tuned and fine-tuned the bikes and even for someone like me who hates the sight of ‘Stock bikes, my head is bang in the right place.”

Part of the reason behind the new happier and more relaxed Dunlop is how quickly he has settled into life with the TAS Suzuki crew, completing something of a dream team for boss Philip Neill.

Commenting on the teaming up of Dunlop with Guy Martin, Neill said: “It is important to us to have a local rider in the Tyco Suzuki Team and in Guy and William we have two of the top road racers in the business, as well as two of the characters of the paddock.”

The signing of a Dunlop, the most famous name in North West history with William’s father Robert having the most wins ever at the event (15) and Uncle Joey joint second on 13 with Michael Rutter, could well be an inspired one by Tyco Suzuki as they look to get back to winning ways.

The 28-year old Ballymoney rider has three Triangle wins to his credit and would love to add to that tally.

“You’re never quite sure what to expect before you go out here at Portrush, as you don’t race anywhere else like it with the big fast straights and the tricky Coast Road, but I’m more than happy,” he said

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